race review

• Joey Logano rallied back from a late-race incident with Denny Hamlin to score an eighth-place finish in the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Logano was squeezed into the wall off Turn 4 on lap 458 and spun out two laps later due to a cut tire. He made multiple pit stops during the caution for repairs but fought through traffic from deep in the field over the final 35 laps to score an eighth-place finish. The Shell-Pennzoil team is fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 14 points ahead of fifth-place Kevin Harvick.
• In the opening 20 laps, Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang was fighting loose on both entry and exit around the tight half-mile at Martinsville, feeling like the lack of drive off was most hurting his overall lap times. The first caution on lap 29 brought Logano to pit road, where quick service by the No. 22 crew moved him up four spots for the restart on lap 34. Early in the run Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was looser, however, 20 laps later he said the balance was improving and he began to move forward through the field.
• Logano was fifth when Stage 1 concluded on lap 130. He said his No 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was loose early in a run but on a longer run the better he ran. During the early laps of the second stage, Logano slipped back through the field as the handling condition on his Mustang swung to the loose side. A pit stop during the third caution on lap 181 allowed the team to make wedge and air pressure changes looking to give Logano more security for the race to the end of the second stage. The fourth yellow on lap 253 set up another round of pit stops among the leaders. Logano survived the three-lap dash to end Stage 2, collecting a fourth-place finish. Crew chief Todd Gordon chose not to pit during the stage caution and Logano restarted third when the race went green on lap 268.
• On the restart, Logano moved around teammate Ryan Blaney and up to second. He slipped back to third by lap 325, reporting he was building tight through the center and snapping loose off. A caution flag on lap 347 set up another pit stop for the Shell-Pennzoil team where Gordon called for air pressure adjustments to correct Logano’s tight condition.
• Logano drifted back to the fifth position as the laps began to wind down, struggling with his Mustang being too tight and having no rear grip. The ninth caution on lap 450 set up the team’s final stop of the race. The group made a four-tire stop and their quick service on pit road moved Logano up to fourth position for the restart on lap 455.
Three laps later Logano was squeezed into the wall off Turn 4 wall while racing Hamlin for position. The contact with Hamlin resulted in flat right-side tires and sheet metal damage and led to Logano’s spin on which brought out the caution on lap 460. The No. 22 team made multiple stops during the caution for repairs so that their Ford Mustang to finish the race.
• Despite a wrinkled race car, Logano rallied during the closing laps to claim an eighth-place finish, his 18th top-10 of the season. Logano heads to Texas Motor Speedway fourth in the championship standings with a 14-point edge over fifth-place Kevin Harvick.


“We had a solid day on pit road and we were able to make some adjustments that at times had our Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang really competitive. I hate the fact that we took the damage late in the race because it spoiled a top-five day for my Shell-Pennzoil team. We’ll go on to Texas and try to lock into Ford Championship weekend with a win.”